LIZZ WRIGHT & INDIA.ARIE
in CapitalJazzFest 2004 – Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 4-6, 2004
By Angela Phillips
Once again, the 12th Annual CapitalJazzFest was inundated with rain on Friday, the pre-festival kick-off, and Saturday. But it was nothing like the mud pool experienced last year at Bull Run Park. The heavy down pour, however, could not keep the true jazz lovers away. The lawn seating was a sea of tents and people in their rain gear who were not lucky enough to get pavilion seats. But when INDIA.ARIE emerged in her all white attire, illuminating the stage, she brought the sunshine.
ARIE’s enthusiasm and meek spirit made you feel like you were out with a good friend. It seemed the audience did not receive her initially. They were slow to warm-up, but after a couple of songs, they became engrossed in her lyrics – witnesses to her true love for her art – and the thunderous applause began. She performed tunes from her two CDs, Acoustic Soul and Voyage to India including “Talk to Her,” “God is Real,” “Interested,” “The Truth,” and “Brown Skin”. It was her rendition of Gershwin’s “Summertime” that proved she belonged at the JazzFest. She closed the show with “Ready To Love” from Acoustic Soul, which brought some to their feet – proving that when you’re singing good music and you deliver it well, people will enjoy it.
On Sunday, the weather was a bit more generous – not that it would have mattered when you have LIZZ WRIGHT gracing the stage. WRIGHT’s voice could remind you of Oleta Adams with a little Lalah Hathaway mixed in. She sang songs from her Salt CD including the title track, “Soon As I Get Home,” and “Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly.” It’s obvious that she comes from gospel roots, because her rendition of the spiritual, “Walk With Me, Lord” gave me chills. WRIGHT is regal and reserved, perhaps extremely shy and her voice is so awesome that I don’t think folks even realized that she didn’t say much.
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